Former Wartime Food Office
Every adult in Llandudno had to visit this building, Walsall House, several times during the Second World War, to collect their food ration books.
The Ministry of Food, based through the war in nearby Colwyn Bay, rationed food to ensure everyone received the same amount, regardless of income or class. Bacon, butter and sugar were the first to be rationed from January 1940, soon followed by meat, tea, jam, biscuits, breakfast cereals, cheese, eggs, lard, milk and canned and dried fruit. Initially Llandudno’s food office was at the Town Hall. It moved to this building in February 1944.
Every man, woman and child had to have a ration book, issued at the Food Office on production of their identity card. The books were originally valid for six months. Towards the end of the war validity was extended to a year, due to the administrative work involved in issuing twice-yearly books.
Certain occupations, such as manual and agricultural workers, received a special coupon for extra cheese rations for lunch boxes, if they presented a form filled in by their employer. The food office would issue an emergency ration book if one had been lost or stolen, or if people were going away on holiday from the Llandudno area.
In June 1940 the National Milk Scheme made subsidised or free milk available to all pregnant and nursing mothers. The Vitamin Welfare Scheme allowed free or inexpensive orange juice, cod liver oil or vitamin A and D tablets for expectant women and children aged under five – again administed by the food office.
Because food was rationed, all shops had to sell their goods at set prices during the war. The Retail Price Maintenance (RPM) was an essential part of the Government’s rationing policy when families weren’t allowed to shop around for rationed goods.
With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum
Postcode: LL30 2SY